Harrisville Planning Board
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Meeting Minutes

     The Harrisville Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at the town offices, 705 Chesham Road, and via zoom.

Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair, Jon Miner Alternate, Pete Thayer, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox, Andrea Hodson, Don Scott

Members absent: Kate Neary Alternate, Noel Greiner

Members of the public: Mary Day Mordecai for the Transportation Committee, Anne Howe

Attendance, Roles and Voting Members
Co-Chair Ryan Stone stated that the voting members for the evening were Lisa Anderson, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox, Andrea Hodson and himself.

Approval of Agenda
Members moved and voted in favor to approve the agenda, following agreement to adjust the sequence of items.

Minutes of previous meetings: 7/14/21, 6/8/21, 4/14/21

  • PB members moved and voted in favor to approve the minutes of 7/14/2021 as submitted.
  • Minutes of 6/8/21 – For the June 8 minutes, members returned to discussion of proposed edits by Andrea Hodson to the EAC section. Following review of Ms. Hodson’s edits, the board discussed the purpose of minutes and how much detail makes sense, with members expressing varying opinions. Though no consensus was reached on the broader topic, Ned Hulbert moved to approve the edits submitted by Andrea Hodson. Lisa Anderson seconded. The vote was 4-0 in favor, with Ryan Stone abstaining. 
  • Minutes of 4/14/21 – Lisa Anderson explained that her proposed changes to the April 14 minutes were not to correct inaccuracies, but to include more detail on Silas Little’s discussion of Class VI roads. Commenting on the process for review of minutes, Ryan Stone stated he doesn’t feel substantial edits to minutes should be made without input of all board members. He described his view of the role of the recording secretary and the role of PB members in assessing minutes. Courtney Cox advocated summaries in minutes, not verbatim recitations.

Ned Hulbert advocated for holding separate discussions about topic details if additional points or questions need to be fleshed out, as he believes going back and forth about the minutes isn’t as efficient a means of sharing ideas and gaining more knowledge of a subject. Members agreed that often information is interpreted differently and agreed with Mr. Hulbert’s idea.

Subsequently, Courtney Cox moved to approve the minutes of April 14 as initially written. Lisa Anderson seconded. All voted in favor. Ned Hulbert abstained due to absence. Members agreed the Class VI road discussion will be put on a future agenda.

Process of Drafting and Reviewing Meeting Minutes
As one of this meeting’s goals was to decide about meeting minute taking going forward, Ryan Stone shared on screen several documents, including the PB Rules of Procedure’s Duties of the Recording Secretary, NHMA’s Questions and Answers on Meeting Minutes and NHMA’s Meeting Minutes 101.  These documents cite the need to record attendees, brief summaries of subjects discussed and votes taken or actions or decisions made.

Ned Hulbert offered a possible process to formalize review of meeting minutes. If/when there is disagreement about content, members could accept the minutes, but also set a new agenda item for an upcoming meeting to flesh out issues or concerns. It also was suggested that, if anyone outside the board member presents at a meeting, perhaps  a set of slides or handout could be shared with members and for the record. Ryan Stone subsequently moved for the board to review minutes and vote on them, to pass or not pass, and, if there is an area of contention that warrants more time, this topic becomes a future agenda item for additional discussion. All voted in favor. Members can send their edits to the chairs to share, so all members have the information they need ahead of the vote.  Mr. Stone will forward the NHMA information to all members as well.

Transportation Committee Update
Mary Day Mordecai reported on the committee’s meeting with the Select Board last month, including the discussion with neighbors about the speed radar sign on Route 137. She thanked the highway and police departments for their input and collaboration.

All trail signs have been complete. Ms. Mordecai noted that the committee has been approached by SWRPC about another potential MAST grant opportunity this year but the quantity of work involved may not make an application possible. Separately, the committee is discussing with Wells Memorial and the police department a potential speed radar sign near the school. She will keep the PB posted. In the meantime the radar signs are allowing for data collection for before and after comparisons to evaluate the effectiveness of their presence around town. As for shielding, the committee is waiting to evaluate the effect of the sign’s illumination prior to acting on this as well as awaiting the opinion of the police chief.

Master Plan ReView Steering Committee – The steering committee is working on the subcommittee job description. They aim to get a strong process established and build on that for future subcommittees. They are connecting with residents and other town committees to leverage individuals’ strengths for the various Master Plan topics, beginning with historic preservation and recreation, as these are strengths and interests of participants already on board. To create a more user-friendly Master Plan, the committee will include more visuals and less text in the next version. They anticipate 3-5 members per subcommittee. Each topic in the MP will have a subcommittee, short-term in nature, which will report back to the steering committee monthly.  Ultimately, the Steering committee will produce a Summary of the Master Plan, a one-page synopsis for each topic.

11/18-20/21 – NHMA’s 79th Annual Conference. ($65 – virtual)

8/19/2021 – OSI Webinar from 12-1:30 pm (no cost). Topic: How to amend zoning ordinances. Deadline to register is this Friday, August 13, by noon.

New Business
Ryan Stone offered three informational items:

  • Sept 7th – Special election Primary for the NH House seat. The Special Election is October 26th. Voting will be at town offices, 705 Chesham Road, from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
  • Bancroft Road – Mr. Stone noted a potential building permit application on this Class VI road, a process which goes through the Select Board, who would seek PB review.
  • PB appreciation – Mr. Hulbert will send out possible dates for this year’s appreciation brunch for Select Board and Planning Board members.

Class VI Road Maintenance – Andrea Hodson shared an FYI that road maintenance on Class VI roads requires an application from a property owner/abutter to the SB and approval from the SB. The SB researched best practices around state and developed an application form, which was shared on screen. Harrisville’s is based on the form used by Acworth, a town with many class VI roads. The form, which is for maintenance of Class VI roads, not improvements which must be filed for separately, includes notification to abutters.  Ms. Hodson encouraged PB members to review the form, as well as Acworth’s road maintenance requirements, which Mr. Stone will forward.

Jon Miner asked about circulating the form more generally to all property owners abutting Class VI roads in town. Andrea Hodson noted this draft is the test run and the intention is to notify all who live along Class VI roads, so they know to file this maintenance application form with the Select Board. The PB may want to offer comment on it.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.